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Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, is a beautiful, fascinating and rewarding place to live and work. It’s no secret that the Asian country boasts a highly advanced technological culture. But, it also offers never-ending opportunities for exciting experiences, sightseeing, lots of public holidays, an amazing nightlife plus great medical insurance schemes.
Social welfare and prosperity are reflected in the high salaries in both the private and public sector. For example, as IT professionals can earn more than 500,000 Japanese yen (£2,732) per month, if you know how to negotiate, it stands to reason that there is a lot of money to be made in Japan. To prove the point, I have compiled a list with the top ten highest paid jobs in Japan based on data from Salary Explorer:
(Salaries displayed are annual)
10. Freight Forwarder
Responsibilities: Freight forwarders are agents who act on behalf of importers, exporters or other companies to transport goods in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner.
Education: Not all employers require candidates to have a degree; some of them prefer you to have hands-on experience in a related area. But, if you want to pursue a degree, potential ideal subjects could include transport/distribution/logistics, business/management, supply chain management and business with modern languages, etc.
Key skills/traits: As a freight forwarder, you need to be clear when communicating with others, have outstanding organisational and planning skills, be a team player, and demonstrate sensitivity to culture and religion. Language skills are important to helping you advance your career abroad.
Average pay per year: 10,000,000 JPY (£54,660)
9. Client Service Representative
Responsibilities: A client service representative provides customer service support to the organisation by obtaining, analysing, and verifying the accuracy of order information quickly.
Education: This position usually requires two years of progressive customer service or direct marketing experience. A degree in marketing or a similar area is a plus.
Key skills/traits: A successful client service representative must be able to work well under pressure, be customer-focused, have excellent sense of priorities, and demonstrate great interpersonal and communication skills.
Average pay per year: 10,000,000 JPY (£54,660)
8. Materials Scientist
Responsibilities: Materials scientists research and study structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials such as semiconductors, glass, rubber, polymers and alloys.
Education: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum formal education required for this job. However, you can pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. depending on where they wish to work.
Key skills/traits: For this position, critical thinking, active listening and excellent oral expression are a must to thrive.
Average pay per year: 10,200,000 JPY (£55,765)
7. Senior Project Manager (Telecommunications)
Responsibilities: Senior project managers in the field of telecommunications are mainly responsible for managing and monitoring the design and implementation of telecom network infrastructures.
Education: Candidates are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of five years of related experience in a managerial/leadership role.
Key skills/traits: For this position, top-notch leadership and team-building skills are required, plus an ability to be a systems thinker with attention to quality.
Average pay per year: 10,608,000 JPY (£58,000)
6. Area Manager
Responsibilities: As an area (or regional) manager you are tasked with setting sales targets, maximising sales and profitability, providing support, and keeping your team happy and motivated in a retail environment.
Education: Employers primarily look for candidates with experience in a managerial role. Of course, a degree in retail management, business or marketing is a plus.
Key skills/traits: This is a very challenging job, and you should be able to work well under pressure, demonstrate confidence, drive and enthusiasm, and have a strong commercial acumen.
Average pay per year: 10,800,000 JPY (£59,050)
5. Security Analyst
Responsibilities: Security analysts maintain the security and integrity of data. They analyse the security measures of a company and figure out how effective they are.
Education: Besides a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related area (e.g. Information Systems or Information Security), security analysts can also enhance their employment prospects by pursuing a relevant certification such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), and Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)
Key skills/traits: Ability to learn new things all the time and stay up-to-date with information security trends. Also, interest in learning the concepts of business development and capturing new business is another key trait of security analysts.
Average pay per year: 11,000,000 JPY (£60,150)
4. Project Manager
Responsibilities: Project managers lead the development and implementation of a time-limited, specific business initiative. This could be the launch of a new product, development of a new app, or the implementation of an online banking system for a financial institution, etc.
Education: You will need a degree, preferably in a topic relevant to the industry you wish to move into. There are also industry-recognised qualifications offered by some professional bodies, such as the Association of Project Management, which could be beneficial to your advancement.
Key skills/traits: This position calls for individuals with exceptional analytical, numeracy, organisational, and diplomacy skills as well as commercial awareness.
Average pay per year: 11,250,000 JPY (£61,500)
Responsibilities: Business analysts are accountable for improving a company’s competitiveness and performance, striving to identify new ways to control costs, increase efficiency or improve sales.
Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business administration is required. Employers prefer candidates with a graduate degree or specialisation in a relevant field.
Key skills/traits: For this job, the ability to influence change in an organisation is important. Also, a professional in this field should be able to use quantitative techniques to analyse data and make decisions.
Average pay per year: 12,000,000 JPY (£65,600)
2. Managing Director
Responsibilities: Managing directors oversee the activities of a specific department or even an entire organisation. They ensure that all business goals are reached and guide the overall workflow of an organisation.
Education: Bachelor’s degree required, MBA and/or CPA preferred.
Key skills/traits: Writing effective business emails and speaking fluently, clearly and confidently is important to thrive in the business world. Having a mind for thinking strategically and financially as well as good judgment are also important.
Average pay per year: 13,750,000 JPY (£75,165)
1. Risk Analyst
Responsibilities: Risk analysts help businesses determine the amount of financial risks involved concerning investments and operational costs.
Education: At least a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related subject is required. A graduate degree in risk management is considered a plus. You can also pursue graduate-level certificate programs in financial risk management to increase your employability. At least five years of work experience within a Corporate Risk Management department, risk consulting, or insurance company is required.
Key skills/traits: Analytical capabilities to analyse risk, high organisational skills and strong attention to detail are just some of the key skills/traits risk analysts need to succeed.
Average pay per year: 16,000,000 JPY (£87,500)
Planning to move abroad to pursue a highly earning job? If you have the skills and qualifications (and the drive) for any of these jobs, then Japan could be the best place to be!